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Learn : Marathon Story  

Running Background:

I consider myself an intermediate runner and I primarily run for fitness. I decided to run a marathon for the challenge.

Training:

I trained for 6 months. During my training I averaged 30 miles per week.

Race Day:

The 2010 Dalian Marathon was worse than expected. Obviously Dalian wants to keep foreigners out. Final race date was only announced about 2 months prior to the race. The tote can be picked up prior to racing day - but only in the morning, meaning that everyone has to arrive 2 days before the race just to pick up the racing stuff.

Dalian has a beautiful seaside, but for the marathon they chose a road through some barren inland hills, besides a railway track and through some industrial area. Naturally the track doubled up on itself so that one could enjoy the industrial buildings twice. The track had few curves and was a 6 lane highway. Fortunately I had the monotonous 'Autobahn' track from Kraftwerk on my mp3 player - fitting the location. Heights of the hills along the road were not correctly given in the race manual.

Drinking stations became less toward the end! The cheering crowds (mostly schoolchildren bused to the site) were good in the beginning but toward the end there was no cheering, as all had gone home or were in the process of going home. In doing so, they were blocking the path of the runners, forcing the runners during the last 5km to slalom around people walking on the track - including the volunteers.

The mop-up buses were driving periliously fast and honked at the runners to make way - I have never seen something like this before at a marathon or half marathon. I did not see any first aid stations or similar. While at the Beijing Marathon ambulance cars were nearly obnoxious, Dalian does not seem to have any; therefore avoid that Marathon.

Recovery:

My recovery was no problems.

Tips/Words of Encouragement:

Run it for the challenge.

Plans to Run Another:

I plan to run another marathon.

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